Urquidi Takes Over as School Board President
Norwalk~The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education conducted its annual reorganization meeting this month, selecting Jesse Urquidi as President and Karen Morrison as Vice President.
The District, its teachers and community members and local elected officials also commemorated the yearlong service of Margarita Rios as president in 2014.
“This past year has been a challenging, but exciting year,” Rios said. “The Common Core State Standards were introduced, a new district funding formula (LCFF) was implemented, and the school board adopted the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan. The school board also began the search process for a new superintendent, and placed a successful school bond measure before the voters. I am grateful for the numerous leadership opportunities 2014 presented to me as board president and look forward to continuing my service to our school community.”
The District, staff, teachers and local elected officials, including State Sen. Tony Mendoza and the office of Assemblyman Ian Calderon provided Rios with commendations for her service.
Newly appointed President Urquidi, who served as Vice President this year, pledged his commitment to continuing the District’s path to success and high student achievement.
“There’s lots of change in education with the introduction of the Common Core State Standards and the Local Control Funding Formula, as well as our own Local Control and Accountability Plan,” Urquidi said. “These are positive changes that will help our District remain on a continuum of success.”
Measure G Barely Passes
Norwalk~Needing 55 percent of the vote to pass, Measure G was approved by voters with unofficially, 56.33 percent of the tally.
Totals indicate 7,043 people (56.33%) voted yes on the measure and 5,461 (43.67%) voted no according to the County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder office.
Dulles Elementary Staff Recognized for Rescuing Choking Second-Grader
La Mirada~The quick-thinking staff members at Dulles Elementary, including one teacher’s aide who performed the Heimlich maneuver, are being hailed for rescuing a second-grade boy who began choking while eating his lunch in the school cafeteria this month.
“I’m extremely proud of their quick and calm response to this life-threatening situation,” said Dulles Elementary School Principal Robin Padget. “I’ve always known of their dedication to students, but this serves as a wonderful example of how they will go above and beyond to ensure that our children are safe.”
On Oct. 2, Kevin Sandoval was eating his lunch when he began choking and hit his hands on the table. Caryn Cerda, a teacher’s assistant who works with the school’s special education students, including Kevin, noticed that Kevin was turning red. She and fellow teacher’s assistant Jimmy Perez immediately responded, with Perez calmly performing the Heimlich maneuver multiple times until the food was dislodged from his throat. The two staff members were assisted by custodian Juan Lara.
“I am very glad that Mr. Jimmy was there next to my son because he saved my son’s life,” said Kevin’s mother, Lucy Sandoval, adding that Kevin is a happy and outgoing kid who loves to ride his bike and give lots of hugs. “I love my son so much and I don’t even want to think about what might have happened if Mr. Jimmy wasn’t there.”
Norwalk-La Mirada Voters to Decide Whether or Not to Fund Schools, Again.
Norwalk~Tomorrow, voters in Norwalk and La Mirada will decide if they again want to subsidize the school system and approve a bond on the November 4th ballot.
The Board of Education of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District has placed a $375 million dollar bond on the ballot they say is needed to modernize the schools-just 12 years after they asked for $165 million in 2002.
-We are still paying for Measure S in 2002 and residents will essentially be “double-taxed” for the next 23 years.
-Measure G upgrades and proposals were supposed to be accomplished in 2002 with Measure S bond.
-La Mirada residents paid for the construction of La Mirada Stadium why should they pay for two proposed stadiums at Norwalk and John Glenn High for $100 million?
-There is insufficient room at Norwalk and Glenn campuses for new stadiums.
-Measure G is a “blank check” with the allocation of the bond proceeds possibly altered in the future by State actions and other variables.
-Of the $375 million asked for, only $160 million is for urgent infrastructure needs-the rest are “feel-good” wish list projects.
-The bond will pay for the repair of deteriorating classrooms, fix leaky roofs and bathrooms and remove asbestos paint.
-Will pay for the upgrade of science and computer labs and physical education facilities.
-Will fund improvements to campus security including fencing, fire proofing, smoke alarms, and communications systems.
-Includes tough accountability provisions and safeguards, every penny is required by law to be spent locally.
-Will provide air-conditioning in all adequate spaces on campuses.
-Will provide instructional technology and wiring projects at every school.
If Measure G passes, homeowners will pay $60 per $100,000 assessed value on their homes per year for the next 52 years. The assessed value is usually 50% or lower of the market value.
Polls are open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Norwalk-La Mirada Schools to Celebrate Red Ribbon Week
The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified schools will hold a series of activities October 27th-31st to celebrate Red Ribbon Week’s anti-drug message.
On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Corvallis Middle School students will write positive statements about themselves or another person and place the notes on a banner to share them and at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, a SWAT team will visit Gardenhill Elementary in La Mirada.
The La Mirada High School band, color guard and cheer team will perform Wednesday at Benton Middle School in La Mirada, followed by a presentation by La Mirada Public Safety Education Officer Mary Cipres. On Thursday, Oct. 30, the Norwalk High School band will perform during lunch at Los Alisos Middle School in Norwalk. M
EXCLUSIVE: School District Superintendent Reflects with La Mirada Blog
Dr. Ruth Perez, The Superintendent of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District for the five past years, recently announced she is leaving the district to become Deputy Superintendent at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the Nation with an enrollment of over 600,000 students.
Her first day at LAUSD will be September 15th and her last day at NLMUSD will be September 11th.
She came to NLMUSD in 2009 after a nationwide search to replace Ginger Shattuck who retired after 15 years on the job.
She served as chief academic officer at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina the previous three years.
In her new role she will work directly under the tutelage of LAUSD Superintendent Dr. John Deasey and will oversee area superintendents in the district and will be in charge of instruction and leadership.
Perez spoke with me over the telephone Wednesday morning.
Decision: “I didn’t seek out this position. The opportunity came to me. It really wasn’t about the money. Financially, it’s not much difference. This is a lifetime opportunity. When in a lifetime do you get a chance to have an impact on 650,000 kids? It took me a while to decide after prayer and reflection. I truly loved every day I showed up work here (NLMUSD). This is a phenomenal district. It’s hard to leave; I have a good gig here and I love serving the two communities.”
Accomplishments: “We have a hard working, emotionally-connected, dedicated staff that has achieved a lot these last five years. As a leader, you provide the focus and everyone else does the work. Our graduation rate has continued to climb, the dropout rate continues to decline and our English Learner Program is one of the top performing (in the State) at 84% (efficiency). I feel so good about our district.”
Future: "I am honored, and go into my new job humbly. I’m leaving a wonderful district, but look forward to new challenges. It’s all about giving to needy kids. I know from personal life experience that a solid education is the ticket to get out of poverty; to turn kids into contributors. That’s how our country works.”
Voters Will be Asked to Fund New School Bond Proposed by NLMUSD
Norwalk~Voters in La Mirada and Norwalk will have a chance on November 4th to decide the fate of a $375 million bond that will upgrade all district schools, after the Norwalk-La Mirada board approved the issue by a 6-0 vote this past Monday.
Member Ana Valencia was absent reportedly due to illness.
The measure, which would need a 55 percent voter approval rate, calls for the repair of “classrooms, leaky roofs, school security upgrading, fencing, fire safety, science, math and computer lab technology, and physical education and athletic facilities and also calls for the removal of asbestos and the repair of educational facilities to improve education at every school.”
In addition, the ballot measure, which – if passed by voters – will go toward building a “new performing arts center, infrastructure to support technology, performing various renovations and modernizations to all district sites and providing electronic devices for all classrooms.”
Proposals for new football stadiums at Norwalk and Glenn High ($44 million each) are included, along with $9 million earmarked for Goodman Stadium improvements at La Mirada High.
“The District has been diligent in asking for and receiving input regarding this prospective bond measure, and what our stakeholders expect from it,” said NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez.
“All funds are earmarked for classroom and school improvements as we continue with our mission to ensure Norwalk-La Mirada students are accomplished 21st century learners and are successful in college and their prospective careers.”
La Mirada High’s Brooks Will Not Return as Coach
Norwalk~Kim Brooks, the embattled head coach of La Mirada High baseball will not return as coach or athletic director, the La Mirada Blog has learned.
Brooks was recorded by a person, believed to be a student but never confirmed, on April 26th as he conducted a profanity-laced tirade at his team.
The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District released a statement this morning indicating the investigation of the incident was complete and appropriate personnel action would be taken.
The district's statement fell short however of what that action would be, citing California privacy laws.
The La Mirada Blog learned a short time later that Brooks will not return.
It is unclear at this time if Brooks will continue as a teacher at the school.
NLMUSD Board to Vote on Facilities Bond for November Ballot
Norwalk~The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education is scheduled to vote on whether to place a bond measure on the November ballot that, if passed, will provide $375 million for classroom repairs and improved instructional facilities.
The District says it surveyed more than 500 likely voters in the NLMUSD area and found that 64 percent would support a bond measure in the November 2014 election. A bond measure would need 55 percent approval to pass. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.
072314 13:12 UPDATE: The NLMUSD Board of Education on Monday voted 6-0 to place the bond issue on the Nov. 4 election. Board member Ana Valencia was absent.
NLMUSD NEWS: Top Students, Valedictorians to be Honored at Board Meeting
Norwalk~The top students from each of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District’s high schools and adult school will be recognized before the Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 9 at the District Office beginning at 5 p.m.
The valedictorians for Norwalk, John Glenn and La Mirada high schools, Southeast Academy and Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Adult School will also be announced.